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Election winner asks Saakashvili to ease transition

by | Oct 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – The leader of the coalition that won the Georgian election Monday says it would be best for President Mikheil Saakashvili to resign and appoint early presidential election.

Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the victorious Georgian Dream coalition, said this during a press conference on Tuesday after Saakashvili conceded defeat and said that he will cooperate with the winning team to form a new government.

According to the current constitution, the president should present a government to a newly elected parliament for declaration of trust. New regulations in the constitution will come into force in 2013. According to these amendments, the power of the prime minister will increase. The president agrees a candidate for prime minister with the parliament and then agrees new government members with the prime minster. Then the parliament approves the new government.

Before, the president personally decided everything, and he had a majority in parliament which supported him. But in this new situation, Saakashvili admits that he won’t have a majority any more and accordingly he will have to agree about new government members with the winners of the election; Georgian Dream.

Anwering a question from The New York Times’ Ellen Barry, Bidizna Ivanishvili said on Tuesday that none of the current government ministers will make it into the new government, including Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili.

“We don’t yet have plan for forming a government. We cannot yet name the new cabinet. It should be decided by our team,” he said, and added that no one from his team yet knows what will be the plan.

“Important this is that we have to balance government and everyone should have appropriate position.”

As for Parliament Speaker candidate coalition leader said there is no decision regarding this issue as well. Having former AC Milan player Kakhi Kaladze as number one on the list doesn’t automatically mean he will be a Parliament Speaker candidate.

He also spoke about revoked citizenship and requested to government to restore Georgian citizenship, which was revoked shortly after his first statement, when he decided to come in politics.

“I appeal to current government; ten months passes since this case is dragged and we aren’t able to take case to Strasbourg. I think government will have enough will to give opportunity to court make just decision and restore my Georgian citizenship, which they illegally revoked.”

Bidzina Ivanishvili explained that it is possible to restore his citizenship in one week if there is a will to do this.

“If it won’t happen there is appropriate constitutional amendment and I as EU member country citizen can still be elected as Prime Minister. Parliament elects Prime Minister. We will have majority there and there is no problem to this.”

Coalition leader spoke about importance to restore court and said Georgian Dream will create real environment to restore justice.

“Everyone will be responsible. Including Bacho Akhalaia (Former Interior Minsiter, who resigned after prison abuse scandal) and my light statement that there will be no political persecution doesn’t mean that anyone will avoid legal persecution.”

He said there will be many appeals demanding to punish Bacho Akhalaia. So it will be unnecessary to interrupt in this issue.

Coalition leader focused on foreign policy and said that in parallel to NATO integration he considers right way for put relation with Russia in order will be a correct diplomacy.

He says Georgia’s strategy won’t change and will remain on a way which Georgian people have chose. Aspiration of future government will be EU and NATO in regards of security, but despite, there is large desire and obligation to put in order relations with largest neighbor Russia.

“We hear resistance and I well understand it won’t be easy, but not impossible. I think Saakashvili deepened Russia’s position regarding Georgia’s NATO aspiration. I understand that geo-politically it is not interesting for Russia, but I don’t think this is a principle issue. With a right diplomacy and analyze, with correct timing it is possible to assure Russia that it won’t be threat to them.” he said naming Baltic countries as example.



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